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From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor: Front-Line Dispatches from the Advertising War Paperback – July 20, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Brilliant. . .Best enjoyed after a three-martini lunch.” –GQ (UK)

“When there was some debate about whether something was accurate or not, Jerry said 'You're not even close. It was so much worse than what you're seeing on the show.'"

--Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer of Mad Men (GQ)

“Reads like the transcript of a tape made at a bar or cocktail party with the recorder propped up next to the raconteur at the center of the crowd.” –Salon

“The 'Mad Men' of this book were not mad at all. They were clever and articulate proponents of the American Dream. The book evokes a long-lost era of American self-confidence and optimism, and helps explain how America became a cultural icon.”

Maurice Saatchi, co-founder of Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi

About the Author

Jerry Della Femina has worked in the advertising industry for over fifty years, and he was an adviser on the first season of the hit television show Mad Men.

Charles Sopkin (d. 1994), an author, book editor, and publisher, wrote the books Seven Glorious Days, Seven Fun-Filled Nights and Money Talks!

A veteran of stage and screen, Peter Berkrot's career spans four decades, and his voice can be heard on television, radio, video games, and documentaries. He has been nominated for an Audie Award and has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards and starred reviews. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; 1 edition (July 20, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451609906
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451609905
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Like the reviewer above, I read this book when I was in college and it's one of the reasons I'm an advertising copywriter today. Great anecdotes and the story of modern advertising during its formative years. I must have read this book some five times. Della Femina and George Lois are still my heroes (Alas, The Art of Advertising by Lois is also out of print).
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book when it first was published; I must have been in high school at the time. After all these years--20? 30?--I'm still laughing!
As events would transpire, Mr. Della Femina and I ended up living in the same town. Okay, so maybe I live here and he owns it. My favorite reading in this town is the column that Jerry writes for the weekly newspaper...which he happens to own. I usually make copies of this column and send it to friends. Believe me, we all howl.
Considering his prominence in the place where we both live, there's not a month that passes that I don't tell somebody about this book. It was as interesting as it was funny, a primer on the advertising industry written by a man of integrity. (Did you hear the one about the time he got arrested for displaying pumpkins in front of the gourmet shop he owns? Seriously, folks....) Very simply, I think that Jerry Della Femina is a genius. Of course, I give Jerry full credit for the title of this memoir, both the way he crafted the phrase and the sentiment behind it.
A dear friend was doing a very important business deal with a prominent Japanese firm. He and his wife invited me to dinner to help entertain the company's rep on his trip to NYC. After they had invited me, they remembered my enthusiasm for this autobiography. Then, they started to worry that I was going to tell the client (who spoke perfect English) all about Jerry's book. They prevailed upon me to exercise restraint. It was difficult, but I held my tongue.
There are some books which, as a reader, one just can't understand why a publisher would let go out of print. As far as I'm concerned, WONDERFUL FOLKS heads my list.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this book in junior high school and it made advertising seem like so much fun and so interesting that I am now, like Mr. Della Femina, a copywriter in Manhattan. It is not as glamorous or as lucrative for me as it has been for him, but I'm not complaining. There are dozens of great anecdotes, one of which provides the title of the book. Unfortunately, I lent it to a work associate, who lent it to a girl at the agency who he was trying to date, and I never saw it again. So if you find a copy, read it and hang on to it
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Format: Hardcover
Jerry Della Femina claims advertising is the most fun you can have with your clothes on. While I might dispute THAT statement a bit (I've been making similar claims about my own profession, journalism), Della Femina does make his point eloquently and elegantly. The book reads as if you were sitting in the room with the author and listening to him sharing great stories with you, and with you only. I have known most of the insides before, but still, the read was absolutely hilarious. And while I was laughing I almost didn't realize there is a serious message behind all this. What message? Read it and find out for yourselves.
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Format: Hardcover
Like the reviewer above, I read this book when I was in college and it's one of the reasons I'm an advertising copywriter today. Great anecdotes and the story of modern advertising during its formative years. I must have read this book some five times. Della Femina and George Lois are my heroes (Alas, Lois' The Art of Advertising is also out of print).
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Work in advertising? See how little it's changed in the last 35 or 40 years by reading this snarky and cutting look inside the biz. Learn about the pioneering admen (and women, though precious few in those days) who got the account for the first feminine hygiene deodorant spray! Thrill to stories of the first efforts to market Japanese products when everybody KNEW nothing good came from there. Japanese cars?? HA!!

So times have changed a little. But the business remains the same (i.e., utterly absurd), as these backstage stories show.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I read this book many years ago, but lost my copy and decided to read it again. The humor ( as in "torches for dwarfs") is still sharp, but many references in the book are so dated from the 50's and 60's that they lack relevance, especially for younger readers. Still, as a historical insight into the advertising world at that time, I recommend it highly. It is well written by one of the real "Mad Men" in the industry. Had I rated this book in the early 80's when I first read it, I would have given it five stars, but it has lost some of its punch over the years.
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Format: Paperback
This was one of those books that you had because you kept your copy of the 1971 edition, or you found it for a buck at some book sale. I don't know much about the show "Mad Men" but I appreciate that its success and Della Femina's association with it have led to revived interest in this once again available classic.

Realizing that Jon Hamm/Don Draper will never be dropping by my place for a drink, this is the next best thing. Probably better, because Della Femina is real and his stories are as true as they need to be.
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